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tv   Bay Area Focus With Susan Sikora  CW  March 27, 2011 8:00am-8:30am PDT

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are we finally raising girls to value who they are or what they look like. feminist author peggy says watch out, the lure of princess mania is stronger than ever. and the political humorrest who don't like politics. will is back. that's on bay area focus next.
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welcome to the show. author-- female empowerment for 20 years. so when peghy daughter of her own, she was beyond ready to raise a little woman in training. but she was met by a wave of pink and pretty princess mania. don't we finally raise girls to value who they are over how they look? if only.
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consider this fact, girls aged eight to 12 spend $40 million a month, that's millions, dollars, a month, on beauty products. further research and motherhood resulted in her newest book, cinderella, ate my daughter. peggy, welcome back. it's a funny title. this is humorous writing so it's enjoyable to read but this is disturbing. $40million and the part i left out is that this was encouraged not only -- we couldn't slap this on media and marketing. it was the mothers who encouraged this to buy the lipstick or whatever. >> it seems -- that's true. with that particular fact that the whole thing was even more startling that girls six years old, almost half of girls say they now use lip clos or lipstick regularly and percentage of girls that wear iliner and mascara between 8 and 12 years old has doubled and this is the biggest growth
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market. >> i can remember maybe five or six and i wanted to play dress up which was different and i got my mother's old lipstick and high heels hopes i didn't trip in and the clothes she wasn't going to use and give to goodwill. me and my girlfriends got out there and had a good time. this is not that. >> you did that and you washed it off. or your mother -- if you tried to wear that to school to second grade, your mother would be scrubbing it off. if we were talking about issues -- the thing is that girls are encouraged now to define themselves through appearance and play sexiness at ever younger ages. >> doesn't it seem like we have been around the block 80,000 times about this? i mean, it's 2011. >> it's a confusing thing for parents. interesting for me as a journalist is even as girls are doing really well in so many ways, there is so much progress in education, academically, in leadership and sports, the pressure to define themselves through appearance has not
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changed at all and it's getting younger and that's so confusing. >> and i won't nail this on the moms because mom gets nailed on too. it's dads, too. is it the parenting? or is it the fact that everybody can't home school. eventually you have to let this creature out the door. she has to deal with the world where there are other little girls her age in school, in class, in the playground and there is peer pressure. is that where it's coming from and it's too much to fight. >> it's a combination of things. when you go into the store from the time your daughter is born there is not a lot of other options. that's where i started was the pink and pretty and princess stuff and wondering if that was protecting girls from sexualization, premature sexualization or priming them for it and the way that was encouraging them to define themselves through appearance and being the fairest of them all and that fed into the kind of diva girl and then that fed into the kind of overly sexualized girl. >> you have a line in here that
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i found. historically girls bodies have embodied family's upwardly movement dreams. narrow waists have served as symbols of parentalled a operations and we know and signs has proven if you are better looking you have an edge when you go into a job interview. you may -- cheerleadners high school, who gets to be on the squad. and it doesn't start there. it starts younger than that. i guess my question, too, is also -- and scientifically they say babies respond more favorably to people who are attractive. in general attractive to anybody. so can you change this? how narrow has our idea of attractive become. even if you want to say that's true, can't attractive, can't beauty span a pretty big spectrum instead of this very narrow spectrum that girls want to value and that's part of it. one of the things that people say is are you trying to get
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girls to play with trucks or something like that? the girls really do need to assert their feminine identity when they are little. it's important for them. but it has narrowed to being about this very thin slice of what it means to be pretty what it means to be sexy and consumerism and those three things define little girls. >> and consumerism there is the almighty word is dollars. dollars to be made. a couple years ago they may be out there and i'm sure you know about them. they had these salons creeping up for little girls to go in and get pedicures and manicures and the price was not cheap. she went in there like a adult woman and spend the day in a spa but this was for somebody that was six years old. >> or four. >> there is more and more of those thresm spa birthday parties for little kids and places sweet and sassy is a mall chain and disney does it at disneyworld if you go to the boutique you can get your
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princess on for $19.95. not 1 -- 189-$95. >> there is something called kgoy. kids getting older younger. why is this taking hold? >> the idea of kids getting older younger is a marking phrase so it is a marketing phrase. and product goes to older kids first and then they age downward. barbie, originally went -- was pitched at 9 to 12-year-old girls and now girls are done with barbie when they are five. little kids look at older brothers and sisters and want to be cool like they are. so for little girls right now being cool means looking hot. that's why the sort of -- and they know what hot means. >> they do know what hot means in they call it sassy or attitude but that's sexy with training wheels. >> you know, we will -- we will tyke a break. when we come back, we also known that dieting has become
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obsessive. we have on one hand of the spectrum we have more obese children who sit at the computers all day and pudge is getting there. on the other end of the spectrum we -- i don't think we had it when we had it, 5-0. what does that mean? the clothe comes into the room and the girl doesn't. size zero. the thinnest girl is the hottest girl and the girls know. this that's not the surprise. the surprise is. not the dieting ux it's what they are using at age 13 when we return.
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because everyone deserves a lifetime. we were back with peggy. her newest book is cinderella ate my daughter. really catchy title. this passes from the front line of the new girly girl culture which she is aware of. she is doing this feminist writing. this had to -- really irk you. i couldn't think of another way to say it on tv. this has to be annoying. you have this little girl. you were praying for a boy because you figure, you had this little girl. daisy. 7 1/2 now. >> yes, she is. >> and all of a sudden she wants these girly girl culture kind of it's the pink tutus and princess stuff and you blame disney. you blame marketing because the disney princess. miley cyrus is up there, too.
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>> what -- remember jean benay ramsey. >> i did go to a child beauty pageant toddler like one of those toddler and sarah beauty paj rchts. i think it's easy to go down dl and attack people. attack the parent oz who put their kids into the pajups and i can't condone that. but i thought that would be the easy out so i wanted to go down and look at the parents, talk to them and get to know them and humanize them and see what that extreme had to teach us about maybe our own -- what we do with our kids and the ways that lets us off the hook. >> and this fact. yes attractive is better to look at than nonattractive and more pleasant. on the other hand the boys don't get this as much. >> not in the same way. they have their own issues. i would never say they don't. somebody else can write about that. >> when we went to break, we talked about the dieting and we know this. how girls starve themselves. the anorexia websites, we won't waste time on that because you
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know about it. at 13 they are now using botox? >> yeah, there were 12,000 injections of botox among -- >> i don't care if there is one. botox for a 13-year-old? >> again, i think it's those that when you talk about the extreme, you always have to go back and look what that tells us about everybody else and the way that pushes the rest of us kind of towards that edge. you are saying that girl is doing botox. that girl is in the pageant. maybe it's not so bad that my girl is having a birthday party where they do the makeover and then walk down the catwalk to do you think i'm sexy. how different is it? >> and a lot of parents think it's one day or one party or whenever. this stuff can take hold in school, who is popular, who is in. who is out and who is bullied. >> and you know what's interesting. i found out the other day there was a study recently on hannah montana, kids who watch hannah
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montana and girl who watch hannah montana are more likely to bully other girls than girls who don't. makes no difference with boys and the girls they bully are the ones whose parents encourage them to act age appropriate. so i thought as a mom who wants my daughter to act like a seven- year-old she is and i thought, great, what am i supposed to do with that information. and that's part of the bind. what do you do with your daughter? do you make her like amish so she is excluded? >> braids and berconnistic. >> or feed into it so she is queen bee and cruel to other girls and expense that possibly her sense of self down the line. that's over-- it's a more complex issue than it's portrayed. >> and where do you come down on the separating the generaledders in school? you we do have schools -- the fac -- failing at fairness years ago. i remember buying it for the mother of my goddaughter who was three then.
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she is now almost out of college. and this is discouraging to have this conversation. but they said if you separate them out, if they are in with the boys, the teaches tend to call on the boys more and reward them for good answers whether they reward for girls nice, neat paper, pretty penmanship. what should we do now? would daisy be in an all girl school or -- school or mix in with the boys in the research is mixed and i would say it depbds on the child and the school. and you really can't make that generalization. what we are seeing now is this new advent of single sex preschool and that is a terrible idea. >> because? >> developmentally girls and boys do start to separate in the preschool years in terms of their behaviors if they aren't exposed to one another those gaps get bigger and bigger. the cognitive gaps, the psychological gaps and emotional gaps and that's a sensitive time in the brain. if kids interact at that time
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with the other sex, they learn the ways of the other sex, the styles of the other sex, the cognitive strengths and will be more well rounded. preschool for sure they need to be co-ed. >> and i'm sure it wreaks havoc on relationships for adults if you only been with men and don't know how to deal with women. >> and they say that kids who have other sex friends when they are in preschool and elementary school have better dating relationships as teens. if your daughter is sitting there in her pink princess room and her pink princess desk reading pink-licious with the yahtzee sets, it's very hard to reach across the divide. >> give me three things any concerned parent out there of a daughter can do or a godmother. >> since we have two seconds one thing is go to my website, cinderella ate my daughter and i have a list of resources for ways not to prohibit but expand girls ideas of what it means to
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be feminine. >> right now? >> we did -- we got into greek myths and my daughter got into -- so she went trick or treating as athena instead of cinderella. the books that give a broader image. >> not a princess. >> a goddess not a principle as much as goddess of warm and wisdom. there is a lot of stuff like that to do with clothing. ideas to make it into art project so it's thot constantly about pink or sparkles or this constant thing with girls. a lot of different resources but it's not the first slice. you have to find the important things to find what you can say yes to. >> i will give you another one. say no to the money for the lipstick. it's not cheap any more and no reason an eight-year-old needs it. >> no is a really good word. no is a good word but can't convince your daughter you want her to have broader choices by saying no. you have to find what to say yes to and celebrates her what is a joyful sense of bag girl. >> daisy is mother who has a mother what is going on. parenting has got to be the
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hardest job in the world for sure. probably why i never did it. book is called cinderella ate my daughter and the website is www.cinderella ate my >> thank you. come back, please. i have a feeling we aren't done with this conversation. stay with us.
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biosays he is c-span's favorite comic. he loves the absurd and illogical aspects of politics. i would say he will never run
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out of material. the "new york times" loves him and he lewisical. a san francisco treat. political satirist, will durs. welcome back. it's always nice to have you. but the politics is both -- it's so important and affects our lives. it's very important. you look at something like health care. but it's also hilarious. >> is it. they get so upset and everything is always in a apocalyptic mode. the nuclear choice. they keep talking about. and right now especially because it's so pollerrized, the left and right. most of us are in the middle and look at our politicians and you never know it. what happened in is with wises. >> you are a milwaukee native. >> yeah, i'm from wisconsin. >> just like shalits beer. >> the comic that made milwaukee famous. >> and what are your thoughts on that? >> well, i think he might have
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overstepped. republicans sometimes do this. i think the afl-cio will nominate scott walker governor of is with wises for their organizer of the year award, i think that's what's going to happen. >> do you worry that sometimes because it's funny there is you out there doing this stuff and then every late night the leno and lettermans, they all start with political stuff usually if it's happened in politics, they are making jokes about it. do you think -- we need to laugh. >> no joke. >> but, do you think it makes us complacent to -- too complaisant to do anything about it other than milwaukee? >> know what i think, i think people can become empowered by feeling that they understand the issues. that sometimes you read about them in the paper and it just seems so complex and then you have us comics we come out and we see it through a certain lens and we make it so that you can walk around with it and carry it.
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it's not so burdensome. >> so now first of all let me ask you about your favorites. is obama too smart? >> he is smart and clean. no scandal. he wasn't doing cocaine off of -- >> yeah. >> and he clinton was a corpulent womanizer. we had that going. and he still could. but obama, it's so -- it's tough. he is smooth. no matter what you think of his policies you have to admire his ability not to get involved in them. >> i'm guessing sarah palin is a piece of cake for you. are you tired of her. >> talk about the gift that keeps on giving. are you tired? >> not really. every two weeks there is something. every two weeks this woman erupts. she is like republican herpes. i know it's early. she is. she wrote a book. she sold 1.5 million copies. 85% of which were bought by
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people who hadn't bought a book in five years. so you can see why the publishers love her. opened up a brand-new market. targeting the nonreading segment of society. >> then everybody jumps on it. again it seems like the waterfall that won't stop and that's boehner crying. kleenex of the month club is his gift. >> dangerous place in the world is being next to john boehner watching old yeller. >> is there anything off limits? you look -- japan. that's not funny. >> you know what, it will be in a couple of week. >> you are kidding. >> not japan. itself. but you will talk about the tsunami. for instance, in san francisco because of the earthquake and the tsunami, there was a tidal wave watch in san francisco and 2,000 people went down to the beach to spectate a tidal wave. >> that's funny, sad, terrifying but back it's funny.
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what about libya, is that funny? >> gadhafi is funny. you to focus on the individual. this guy is crazy. so-- he gave himself a rank in the military and he chose connel -- colonel. not general, he chose colonel. the guy spells his name with a q, it's not followed by a unches, he plays by rules we don't understand. >> let's move it to a little closer to home. how do you like the fact that governor jerry brown is back? >> it's great for us for the book end thing. he was governor. he is governor now. he is 7. apparently-- 72 so california will have to go through this every 36 years. he will be 108 run again. >> next term. >> i mean, what do you do with him? >> well, you wait until he does something. he hasn't done anything. he can't do anything. you have the republicans saying the cat tux zombies from the planet know and the only thing
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that they believe it. so you wait until something happens. but the campaign was so good. all political campaigns. they use the same marketing tools. they get that voice. that guy from nfl films with the doomsday voice. jerry brown loser, failure -- >> we fall for it. we are sitting there i know what they are doing but let me see the end of the commercial. >> and then get that black and white shot where the candidate that is in full color, bright lights and the candidate are talking about -- >> anti-wrirngle. >> took a still from a picture of him falling down. or caught in the middle of a sneeze. it's always -- >> you go out and perform. what do you do about hecklers? a lot of people who say i have a sense of humor. maybe a young wannabe who wants to follow in your foot steps. i think my delivery is good. what do you do about the you
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know what who sits in the first or second row with or without the benefit to be part of your show. >> i had that happen on sunday in scottsdale. i was working in scottsdale, arizona, there was a drunk guy from new jersey. >> speaking of new jersey. >> drunk guy -- he was. and he had two dates with him. two girls. and he was trying to show off for both of them. for every comic that went up, he would just -- but the thing is he got drunker and drunker as the show went on. so by the time i got up there, he was toast and all you had to do was lay into him right away and then keep ongoing. just pretend he wasn't even there. >> quick yearn, would -- yes or no? >> ever want a late night show? >> i like talking to people but i know people who are so much better at it than i. >> he is modest but a good sense of humor. for more information about will and his upcoming performance,
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you can visit >> napa valley opera house. i will be there on april 1. april fool's day. up around napa -- >> and his website is will check that. we will leave you now with cultural odyssey's presentation with the women of ca... o. today is the last day to capps them at the african- american art and culture complex at san francisco. for particulars and information, call 292-1850 or visit cultural i'm susan sikora. thank you for watching. >> happy exnext, everybody. happy equinox, everybody.
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